Food prices take another dip

Posted: 3 April 2024 | | No comments yet

According to latest data from the BRC, food inflation dropped to 3.7 percent in March and is at its lowest figure since April 2022.

food inflation

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed that food inflation dropped to 3.7 percent in March 2024, down from five percent in February.

New Food has been keeping its readers updated with food inflation statistics and the cost of living crisis over the course of the the last year, and the latest update from the BRC shows that food inflation is at its lowest rate since April 2022.

In fact, shop price annual inflation also took a tumble in March, decreasing to 1.3 percent, dropping by 1.2 percentage points, down from 2.5 percent in February.

“Shop price inflation eased to the lowest level since December 2021 last month as retailers continued to compete fiercely to bring prices down for their customers. While Easter treats were more expensive than in previous years due to high global cocoa and sugar prices, retailers provided cracking deals on popular chocolates, which led to price falls compared to the previous month,” said Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC.

Will food inflation remain high in 2024?

 “Dairy prices also fell on the month as farmgate prices eased, and retailers worked hard to lower prices for many essentials. In non-food, prices of electricals, clothing and footwear fell as retailers increased promotions to entice consumer spending,” continued Dickinson.

In addition, the BRC revealed that fresh food inflation also slowed again in March, and now sits at 2.6 percent. This is down from 3.4 percent in February 2024. What’s more, ambient food inflation also decelerated, and dipped to 5.2 percent in March. This is down from 7.2 percent in February of this year.

Dickinson went on to define the latest figures as “good news for consumers”, however she noted “from this month, retailers face significant increased cost pressures that could put progress on bringing down inflation at risk.

“These costs include a 6.7 percent business rates rise, ill-thought-out recycling proposals, and new border checks – all at the same time as the largest rise to the National Living Wage on record. The industry needs pro-growth government policy that supports investment and helps keep down prices for households up and down the country.”

Meanwhile, Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight, NielsenIQ, stated: “The slowdown in inflation continues and a key driver this month was a further fall in food prices. A year ago, food inflation was 15 percent so this was to be expected.

“But it is also helped by intense competition amongst the supermarkets as they look to drive footfall, with focussed price cuts and promotional offers earlier in the month for Mother’s Day and now again in the weeks leading up to Easter,” concluded Watkins.

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